• The 2020 Land Rover Defender is Aimed at the Heart of North America

The new Land Rover Defender is officially coming to America, folks

The Land Rover Defender and its boxy appearance won over enthusiasts thanks to its timeless styling and off-road capabilities. The last model, which was largely unchanged since it hit the market in 1983 was discontinued in 2016, and there has been a cry for a new generation ever since. Recently, Land Rover decided to show off one image of the new Defender, and everyone was drooling. But, not as much as you’re going to drool today as Land Rover not only released a handful of official spy shots but has finally confirmed its debut in 2019 as a 2020 model. The best part is that it’s coming to America!

The 2020 Land Rover Defender

The 2020 Land Rover Defender is Aimed at the Heart of North America
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At this point, Land Rover has managed to keep a pretty tight lid on any details about the new Defender. The only thing that we can say with complete certainty is that it will feature the same boxy, G-Class-Fighting design that made it so popular in the early 1980s. It might be a little longer, but it’ll be boxier than ever even with an all-new design outside.

Speaking of all-new design, the interior will take on a complete makeover as well – a move that should breathe a lot of new life into an aging nameplate.

The engines under the hood should show significant improvement over the outgoing model, and you can expect some transmission trickery too. Whether we’ll see a manual transmission or not remains to be seen, but this thing is designed with off-roading in mind, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

More importantly, it should pick up some of Land Rover’s latest and greatest technology. The brand has to be careful not to overdo it and ruin the purpose of the vehicle, but it’s probably best to believe that the brand has enthusiasts in mind. It day say, however, that it’s targeting a “broader public appeal” so maybe it’ll be the best of both worlds. Won’t that be nice? T

he most important change will be the switchover to an independent suspension system and the addition of a 2.0-liter Turbodiesel engine.

There’s even the possibility for a hybrid model to make its way into the lineup as well – you know, for that broader public appeal and such.

The 2020 Land Rover Defender is Aimed at the Heart of North America
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We still don’t know when in 2019 we’ll see the new Defender. It could happen at the Detroit or Chicago Auto Shows, or it could even happen at the New York or Geneva Auto Shows. Any of these are more likely that shows that come later in the year, as Land Rover needs enough time to build up significant hype and take in public opinion for last-minute changes before shifting into full production. For now, enjoy these official spy shots and stay tuned for more information – we’ll be sure to bring it to you as soon as we get it.

Further reading

2013 Land Rover Defender High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Defender.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Testing of Camouflaged Prototypes On-/Off-Road Begins January 2019 in North America
Next Generation Defender Will Be Revealed in 2019 and Available from 2020
Mahwah, New Jersey (December 27, 2018) – Land Rover North America today announced something to celebrate in the New Year, the next-generation Land Rover Defender will be offered for sale in both the U.S. and Canada, starting in 2020.

Testing of the new vehicle is already underway around the world with the first development mules and prototypes reaching North American shores earlier this month. Testing on the continent provides valuable data to engineers given the wide variety of terrain and surfaces available in America. Engineers will subject the vehicle to rigorous test extremes to make sure the new Defender is the most off-road capable Land Rover vehicle ever; operating in temperatures from -40F to +120F while driving the test vehicles on- and off-road at altitudes of more than 13,000 feet above sea level.

“There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle," said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America. "On behalf of Land Rover and our retailers, we are proud to announce the voices of American and Canadian customers has been heard: The all new Defender will be for sale here starting in 2020. This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hint of what’s to come in the New Year.”

Series Land Rover vehicles have garnered a cult-like following for both their iconic design and reputation for rugged go-anywhere utility, making them among the world’s most capable off-road vehicles. In the time since they were sold in the U.S. and Canada, “NAS-Spec” Defender vehicles have appreciated in value significantly and are widely sought after as collectors’ items for both off-road enthusiasts and those who appreciate the design aesthetic of the vehicle.

The Series Land Rover vehicles haven’t changed much since the idea for the first model was dreamed up shortly after World War II by the Wilks brothers on the shores of Red Wharf Bay, Wales, more than 70 years ago. With each successive design – from the Series 1, 2, and 3 Land Rover vehicles, to the later “Defender” branded vehicles – changes were largely evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.

Even the design of the previous generation Defender remained largely unchanged for the 33 years it was produced. Instantly recognizable by its rugged squared-off exterior, round headlights and signature rear-mounted spare tire, the Defender and all Series Land Rover vehicles have been lauded the world over; driven by farmers, military and police, celebrities, and even royalty. By one measure, it’s estimated that a Series Land Rover was the first automobile many of the world’s population ever saw in person.

With an all-new exterior and interior design, as well as a suite of the latest driver assistance and connectivity features available, the next-generation Defender will be a revolutionary product for Land Rover with even broader public appeal. When it debuts in 2019, the new model will represent 70 years of innovation and improvement in just one model year; honoring the model’s history for rugged durability, while thoroughly remaining a Defender for the 21st century.

All will be revealed in 2019.

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